Never did the Lord Jesus, while he walked upon the earth, make himself known to anyone more clearly and fully than he did here to this Samaritan sinner. Here, Isaiah’s prophecy (Isa. 52:6) is fulfilled. The Master declares to this woman his great name _ “I AM HE.”
When the Savior said, “I AM HE,” he was saying to this woman, I am he of whom the Scriptures speak. He is the One of whom the Scriptures speak (Luke 24:27, 44-47; John 5:39; Acts 10:43).
It is remarkable to me that so few today see this. The saints of God in the Old Testament saw it clearly. We must never underestimate the faith and knowledge of God’s saints in the Old Testament. God's elect were saved in the Old Testament in exactly the same way they are today. God has only one way of saving sinners. That way is Christ alone, by grace alone, through faith alone. Christ was the Object of all true faith in the Old Testament, just as he is today. What amount of knowledge those Old Testament believers had, I cannot tell. It is not clearly revealed. Yet, we do know that…
· Eve understood the promise that the Redeemer would be a man of the woman's seed (Gen. 3:15).
· Abel knew about blood atonement (Gen. 4).
· Enoch, who lived before the flood, even spoke plainly about the Lord's second advent (Jude 14).
· Abraham knew that the Redeemer would be God incarnate (Gen. 22:8).
· David clearly understood that forgiveness is sure through the blood atonement of a crucified Substitute (Ps. 22; 32, 51).
· Even Job, in that which was probably the first book written in the Inspired Volume, describes Christ as our Redeemer and speaks of the resurrection at the last day (Job 19:25-27).
· Isaiah understood that the sinner's Substitute is both God and man in one person, whose work of redemption and grace must be effectual to the salvation of chosen sinners (Isa. 7:14; 9:6-9; 52:13-53:1-12).
Numerous other references could be given. These are, truly, only a few; and they were randomly selected. Yet, they suffice to make my point irrefutable. Old Testament saints knew and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their effectual, almighty, crucified, risen, reigning Savior. The Book of God is all about the Son of God.
It is also clear, to even a casual reader of Holy Scripture, that the saints of the Mosaic era clearly understood and rejoiced in the doctrines of God's free and sovereign grace in Christ. –
· Divine Sovereignty (Ps. 115:3; 135:6; Dan. 4:35-37; Isa. 46:9-11)
· Total Depravity (Ps. 14)
· Unconditional Election (Ps. 65:4; 2 Sam. 23:5)
· Limited Atonement (Isa. 53:8-11)
· Irresistible Grace (Ps. 65:4; 110:3)
· Perseverance of the Saints (Ps. 23:6)
In a word, God gave those saints in the Old Testament faith just as he gives us faith, by supernatural revelation, by revealing Christ to and in chosen sinners. Obviously, the Revelation of God in Scripture was not as full in Job's day as it was in Moses', or in Moses' day as it was in Malachi's, or in Malachi's day as it was in John the Baptist's, or in John the Baptist's day as it was in Paul's.
Yet, the faith of God’s saints is one. “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” God did not save people by works in the Old Testament, any more than he does today. It was in the Old Testament that Jonah cried, Salvation is of the Lord!” It was in the Old Testament that Moses said, “Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.” It was in the Old Testament that God said, “I am thy salvation!” It was in the Old Testament that the psalmist sang, “The salvation of the righteous is of the Lord.”
Read Hebrews 11, and then talk about the greatness and superiority of your faith, if you dare. All those men and women of faith described in that chapter were Old Testament believers. Perhaps they did not see things as clearly and fully as we do, (or should), today. Yet, I must personally acknowledge that I have never begun to experience the quality of faith that Noah exhibited in building the ark, Abraham exhibited on Mt. Moriah, or Moses exhibited in dealing with Pharaoh and Israel. Those men believed God. They knew, worshipped, and trusted the Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the Scriptures of the Old Testament speak.
Sometimes people refer to the Old Testament as “the old Bible.” That is wrong. The Old and New Testaments are not two Bibles, but one. The Old Testament is the New Testament concealed in types, shadows, laws, and ceremonies. The New Testament is the Old Testament revealed in the person and work of Christ. The Old and New Testaments are two parts of one Book, the Book of God.
That one blessed Book, inspired by God the Holy Spirit, is the infallible, inerrant, perfect, complete revelation of God’s will and grace in his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. With regard to the message, doctrine, faith, and salvation spoken of in all the Scriptures, the Son of God says, “I that speak unto thee am he.”